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Last Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006, 07:09 GMT
Wanted: a new breed of adventurer
Captain Robert Scott and his team in the Antarctic
The society wants to see more in the Captain Scott spirit
The Captain Scott Society has pleaded for a better breed of explorer to apply for its "spirit of adventure" award.

Alf Thomas, expedition secretary of the Cardiff-based society, said they wanted some more "groundbreaking" and "adventurous" applications.

The organisation, founded in 1982, makes an annual award of 2,000 open to adventurers across the world.

Previous recipients include a solo transatlantic rower and a potholer who explored deep caves in China.

The Captain Scott Society recently doubled the size of its main award, but has received only five applications so far this year.

The deadline for submissions is the end of March.

We can't get a second Captain Scott every year, but we like them to be original and... epitomise the spirit of adventure shown by Scott and his colleagues
Alf Thomas

Mr Thomas told the BBC News website: "Last year we had a great one - his name is Oliver Hicks. He rowed single-handed from New Jersey to Falmouth across the Atlantic.

"That was brilliant - it epitomised spirit of adventure we like. To do it after 128 days at sea was an incredible feat."

The expedition secretary said the society wanted to see more applications in that spirit.

"We can't get a second Captain Scott every year, but we like them to be original and we would like it to epitomise the spirit of adventure shown by Captain Scott and his colleagues," he said.

The society, which offers a second award for young people up to 19 years of age, also likes to see an "element of risk" in the proposed expeditions.

Mr Thomas said: "It can be crossing the ice cap in Greenland, or going to the North or South Pole. It can be canoeing - that's a pretty adventurous pastime if they are going to do it in unexplored places."

'More challenging'

The Captain Scott Society was formed in 1982 to maintain the explorer's spirit of adventure and his association with the city of Cardiff.

The annual dinner commemorates the dinner hosted by the Cardiff business community in 1910 for the officers and scientists of Scott's last expedition.

But mountain guide and former Royal Marine Dave Pearce - who recently helped recreate Scott's Antarctic journey for the BBC - said it became harder each year for people to think up original adventures.

"I think it's more challenging these days to find something more original. I suppose it's in the style of how you do it as well," he said.

"The originality is going out of it because there are lots more people doing it. Ultimately, the world is a much smaller place now."

Modern equipment and satellites also made expeditions easier, he added.

Mr Pearce said of his own adventure replicating the conditions of Scott's race to the South Pole: "I take my hat off the people like Scott and [fellow polar explorer] Amundsen, or [Everest mountaineers] Mallory and Irving.

"We only experienced a small part of what they went through and it was very hard. They were the real adventurers."

The BBC's The Great Race, recreating the Antarctic race between Captain Scott and Roald Amundsen, will be screened later this year.


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